Southern Wind River Range
What We’re Doing
Removing barriers to connect more people to the outdoors.
Protect iconic landscapes for generations to come.
The craggy peaks of the Rocky Mountain’s Southern Wind River Range span northwest to southeast Wyoming. With some peaks rising more than 13,000 feet above the dense hardwood forests below, this is where outdoor enthusiasts find adventure. The area between the iconic Cirque of the Towers and Big Sandy Campground is the second most heavily used area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and popular with campers, hikers, and rock climbers. But as more visitors looked to connect with the untamed wilderness that makes this area so enchanting, tensions started to grow between domestic sheep operations and hikers making their way to the Continental Divide.
With our specialized expertise and help from our partners, TPL worked with the local ranching community to remove domesticated sheep from 64,000 acres within the Bridger-Teton National Forest. This removal had profound impacts on the landscape and critical habitat for native wildlife. Without domestic grazing, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and other animals now use the space as a migration corridor and enjoy the cover of lush bushes and shrubbery for protection. Bighorn sheep populations are continuing to rebound because when domestic sheep and bighorn sheep intermingle, bighorn sheep populations drastically decline due to respiratory disease and fatal pneumonia. TPL helped retire nine grazing allotments, safeguarding this iconic landscape for years to come.